greygirlbeast: (fry1)
Using my Carolyn Fry (Radha Mitchell) icon today because about 4:15 a.m. I finally fell asleep watching Pitch Black for the umpteenth time. I drifted off not long after the crash of the Hunter-Gratzner. Which means the film worked. My comfort films usually do. Work to put me to sleep, I mean. Fortunately, Pitch Black is streaming from Netflix, so I could get it via the iPad. By the way, that's about the only use for Kermit the iPad that I've found, streaming movies and TV shows from Netflix.

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I just received word from Bill Schafer at Subterranean Press that The Drowning Girl: A Memoir has earned the coveted starred review in the new Publisher's Weekly. I won't post the full review for a few days, but I will excerpt this line (the rest is mostly synopsis, anyway, the last thing any book review should be concerned with):

Kiernan evokes the gripping and resonant work of Shirley Jackson in a haunting story that’s half a mad artist’s diary and half fairy tale.

I can live with that. Momentarily, I don't feel misunderstood. Though I'm sure that's just illusory and will pass shortly.

And speaking of Subterranean Press, if you've not already preordered your copy of Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart, you might want to do it before much longer. Remember, the limited comes with the FREE hardbound chapbook, The Yellow Book ("The Yellow Alphabet" + a new short story, "Ex Libris").

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Yesterday, I only managed to write pages 5-7 (ms. pages 10-15, 1,256 words) of Albaster #4. Maybe I can write five today, and make up the difference.

The auction for The Drowning Girl ARC continues.

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There was some good RP in SW:toR last night, and I read two stories, Tanith Lee's "Black Fire" (2011) and Julie E. Czerneda's "The Passenger" (1999). Both were quite excellent, but I was especially taken with the Tanith Lee piece*. These are collected, by the way, in John Joseph Adams' Lightspeed: Year One. I have a story in there, too. I just wish Orson Scott Card's name wasn't splashed across the cover of the book. I feel like I should wear gloves when I handle it.

Seven days have passed without my leaving the house (and I won't today, so make that eight), and its beginning to bother me again. I blame the weather. That sky. Getting to bed too late, waking too late. Having only five hours of daylight (or thereabouts), and needing three of them to wake up. This is my first (of four) profoundly shitty New England winters, and the workload isn't helping.

Snowed Under Without Snow,
Aunt Beast

* Though it's the Czerneda story that ends with this exquisite sentence: For like that precious bird, kept until death in a glass cage for all to see, wasn't he the last passenger of Earth?
greygirlbeast: (chi 5)
My thoughts are well and truly scattered this morning. No, excuse me. This afternoon, as it is now 12:58 p.m. CaST (though only 11:58 ayem EST, hence still morning). I don't feel like resorting to numbers and bullet points today, either, so bear with me, or don't bear with me.

Bear with me. One of those interesting turns of phrase that I have to wonder if many people ever pause to consider the older, more genuine meanings. Bear. With. Me.

We were planning to be at the VNV Nation show in Boston tonight, and the fabulous Chris Ewen even saw to it that we were on the guest list. Then, yesterday, fearing the possibility of contracting some illness from the crowd, and fearing my deadlines, we pulled out. And our two places on the guest list were raffled last night by Chris, while he DJed at Heroes (DJed as in disc jokey, not as in a pillar-like ancient Egyptian symbol representing stability, id est, djed). So, two happy people will be taking our places tonight, and congratulations to them, but doing good rarely serves as much in the way of consolation if you are me. And I am. Me, I mean.

And I can’t fall asleep without a little help.
It takes a while to settle down,
My shivered bones,
Until the panic‘s out.
~ The National, "Terrible Love"

Yesterday, I discovered that (as is so rarely actually ever the case) the third time was the charm with "Sexing the Weird," and I finished a new 1,525-word version of "Sexing the Weird," which will serve as the introduction to Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart. And I like it. Also, this morning (it truly was still ayem CaST) I received Sonya's afterword, "But She Also Lies Broken and Transformed." So, aside from Kathryn and I making about a bazillion corrections to the main text, then getting that text back to Bill Schafer, the book is done. Still no firm release date or date when pre-orders will begin. Later. It's safe to say it will be later, in both cases.

And today, I begin the aforementioned short story about the two women who become cities, for Sirenia Digest #72. And that reminds me to, again, remind you that responses to "Question @ Hand #5" are due by midnight (CaST) on the 7th. Also a caveat: best to avoid humor. I suppose I should have been clear about this from the beginning, but I didn't actually see this as a humorous undertaking (though humor and horror are always loping about, unsightly, hand in hand, I know); I am in an earnest state of mind.

Il est un amour terrible et je suis à marcher avec araignées.
Il est un amour terrible et je suis à marcher avec araignées.
Il est un amour terrible et je suis à marcher dans la compagnie calme.
Et je pouvais ne tomber pas dormir sans un peu aidé;
Il prendre beaucoup à se calmer mon os de frissonnement
Tant que la panique est dehors.
~ The National, "Amour terrible"

Black-eyed peas and collards for dinner last night. I'm undeniably homesick for Georgia and Alabama. Which is the height of peculiarity, given how neither place was ever a home to me, despite the fact that I lived there almost all my life. My relationship with the South could probably serve as a case study in Das Unheimliche.

Later, we watched the next-to-latest episode of American Horror Story, and, gods – Zachary Quinto in latex. Later still, for want of physical, non-virtual company or any other "real-world" diversion, we played Rift. This morning, Spooky was telling me about the offensive comments coming in over level twenty-something to level thirty-something chat – and I didn't ask for specifics, but I assume it was the usual homophobic, racist, sexist ramblings. I keep everything but guild and RP chat off, so I always miss this shit in Rift. I got enough of it in WoW. But it's not ever encountered in actual gameplay – and last night was a good example – people are consistently polite and often helpful (unlike the situation in WoW). It leads me to suspect that an awful lot of people log in merely to "socialize," and likely they're fairly young, or actual kids, and talking hate shit is the false bravado of their generation, as it has been of all generations. Which, of course, makes it no less disheartening, and reminds me why I stay out of Meridian ("New Orgrimmar") as much as possible and always keep general chat switched off. Gaming is, for me (RP aside), a fundamentally solitary exercise, and forget the "massively multiplayer" part. I rarely game with anyone but Spooky. We duo. Anything to avoid the chimps on crack who cram into so much of gamespace.

Ah, and here's a thing I thought I'd post. Behind the cut. Twenty fantasy books that exerted an especial influence on me as an adolescent, in no particular order (behind the cut):

Twenty+ )

And yeah, I cheated and that is many more than twenty books, but I still feel as if many important things have been left out. Ah, well. For another time, yes. But if you have not read all these books at least once, shame on thee.

Nostalgic,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (twilek2)
I like art that at first makes you mad. Good art provokes and inspires, baffles and even shocks us. Sometimes with its beauty, sometimes with its amazing ugliness. ~ John Waters

Why is this not perfectly fucking obvious? Why do people have to be told these things by artists? Why is the self-evident evidently so hard to see?

1) A busy day yesterday, so a subset:
a. I wrote pages Sixteen and Seventeen on the third issue of Alabaster. Dialogue is one thing. Choreographing the movement of three "actors" is another. The latter is a bitch.
b. My editor at Dark Horse (Hi, Rachel!) sent me Steve's pencils for Alabaster #1, pages 17-25, and they are, in a word, wonderful. Also, a Paul Benedict troll! Anyway, today I have to get notes together on these pages before the inking, though, truthfully, the notes will be few.
c. More conversation with Brian Siano about the final cut of the "teaser" trailer we'll be releasing in January for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. I think people are going to be amazed.
d. My contributors' copies of the Lightspeed: Year One collection arrived, which compiles all the stories that appeared in the website's first year online. Edited by John Joseph Adams, it reprints "Faces in Revolving Souls," which, I have to admit, I'm not very fond of anymore. However, the collection as a whole is really quite awesome (the presence of OSC notwithstanding, and never mind the homophobic bastard's name is the first listed on the cover).

You know...this was going to be a much longer entry...

...but I keep writing paragraphs...

...and I keep erasing them. It's just that sort of morning. I'll do better tomorrow. Or later tonight.

But if you're in my Rift guild, do please remember that Thursday night is the next scheduled RP event. And one more thing, please have a look at last night's posted "Question @ Hand." I'm going to be accepting replies for several days, and I want to see some very good stuff. By the way, silly, hand-waving bad science is perfectly acceptable, in this case. I'm hoping for at least seven replies we can use in Sirenia Digest #72.

Oh! Also I've gotten word that people are beginning to receive the first round of rewards from Kickstarter we did for The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. I think these are prints of some of Kyle's photos. Pleased note that the rewards will be going out to donors in several waves, and that the last batch can't be mailed until after the book is published in March 2012.

And thanks to [livejournal.com profile] sovay for reminding me that "The Key to the Castleblakeney Key" is now online, my contribution to Ann and Jeff VanderMeer's marvelous anthology, The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities. This online version includes the color photograph of the artefact, which appears in black and white in the anthology.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
My morning was going rather shitty (resuming a course begun last night), but then I saw someone refer to Orson Scott Card as a "howling bigoted douchemonkey," and I almost laughed, and now I feel a little better. Also, I've been sleeping like crazy, which is a tad bizarre. Vaults of sleep. Too much wandering in the watery Dreamlands. These days, always do I dream of water. Also, I might be getting a headache.

Yesterday, I did a metric shit-ton of work on those acoustic particle destab...wait. What was I saying? I knew a moment ago, then there was this bright flash before my eyes, and now I have no idea whatsoever. That is so fucking weird. It just keeps happening. But...um...yeah, I did a lot of work yesterday. And I sent "John Four" to S. T. Joshi, who wanted to read it. If he decides to reprint it for a forthcoming anthology, I might decide to expand it a bit (because, you know, spare time spills forth from my asshole). And I emailed Michel Zulli. And I received news from Penguin that the delayed (by a hurricane) CEM for The Drowning Girl should arrive here today. I'm praying it got fucking lost somewhere in Connecticut, and will remain so for at least a week*.

And you know, a leech (Hirudinea) is such an honest organism, even among other oligocheates. No frills, no fussing about with frippery.

This society needs less enthusiasm, less opportunity to express its opinion, and more time spent in quiet reflection.

Oh, last night? Thank you for asking. Perfectly wretched, but, truly, I've no one to blame but myself. I would say there was lousy RP in Insilico last night, but that would imply there was RP in Insilico last night, and there wasn't. Yet, for some psychotic reason, I waited around for more than two hours. Oh, yes. Because there was supposed to be RP. But...whining ooc drama trumps all else in SL, and almost all the good RPers have flung themselves into the abyss of the virtual bureaucracy of sim administration...which means they rarely have time to RP...and really, that was only the tip of how everything kept going crappy last night.

But! All was not lost. I had Valium and Vincent D'Onofrio! And Vincent D'Onofrio makes even the most sour night a little less so. An "actor's actor," I have heard him called, even as I have been called a "writer's writer." These, kittens, are what are known as backhanded compliments, or consolation prizes, or what the fuck ever. But! Just give me ponygirls, a glass dildo, and the brain of Vincent D'Onofrio, and you'll hear not one complaint from me. Oh, and a little Oxycodone. That would sweeten the pot, yes.

Oh, I also read another story from The Book of Cthulhu, W. H. Pugmire's "Some Buried Memory," which was delicious, because Pugmire is brilliant. Alas, there are not many more good stories in this (largely) reprint anthology that I've either not read previously or which I won't deign to read. Here's my thing (as Lara Means would say): Except in extraordinarily rare instances, you either approach the work of Lovecraft with a straight face, or you leave it the hell alone. Bring humor and parody to the table, and usually you'll make a fool of yourself and embarrass others. Bring irony, that's worse still. Do it right, or don't do it, but for fuck's sake, stop with the attempts at too-cool-for-school hipster and/or pseudo-intellectual comedy. There have been exceptions, a tiny handful, such as Neil's "Shoggoth's Old Peculiar." As the Mythbusters say, these exceptions are not something you should try at home. Keep your cuddly Cthulhu slippers and plushie Azathoths to yourselves and far away from me. Anyway, too much of The Book of Cthulhu is given over to the funny which is not funny. There are probably half a dozen good stories I've yet to read, at best. Which is a shame.

Did I mention Vincent D'Onofrio?

Dry and Humorless,
Aunt Beast

* It's here. Let this fresh hell begin.
greygirlbeast: (Narcissa)
Yes, it is that. This entry is the 3,000th I've written since coming to LiveJournal way back on April 15th, 2004. And yeah, that's a lot of time and a lot of words. Though, truly, I first began keeping an online journal on Blogger, years before I met LJ, on November 24th, 2001. But, here I am at 3,000, as LiveJournal reckons time.

Yesterday was a roiling mass of chaos. There was a very long phone conversation with my agent, Merrilee, that essentially made it impossible to get much else done during the afternoon. But now I can get back to work on Blood Oranges, which she loves. Today, however, I am awaiting news regarding the NEWS THAT IS SO GOOD, SO COOL I can't talk about it yet. Which means I'll be good for nothing, except maybe proofreading the manuscript for Confessions of a Five-Chambered Heart. Yesterday, we managed to proofread "The Collector of Bones." I'd forgotten all the math I'd had to do for that story.

So, "civil unions" between gay couples will likely soon be legal Rhode Island. On the one hand, it's more than I ever expected. On the other hand, it's so blatantly discriminatory, that it's hard to see it as any sort of improvement at all. It's not even really "separate but equal." It's more like saying, "Look, we made you this, which looks sort of like marriage, and you'll get some of the benefits. But marriage is SACRED, and if we let you have actual...well, never mind what would happen, because we're not going to do that. Here. Take this, instead. Now, go play and leave us alone." That's what it's like. I do see it as a foot in the door, and I see the benefits. But unless this is a stepping stone towards the same rights afforded heterosexuals, it's worthless. Just second-class citizenry. Note that the bill has been heavily opposed by local gay activists. Anyway....let's not make the Baby Jesus cry...

Spooky was just telling me that WoW is now offering the same deal offered by LotRO, and soon to be offered by CoX. There's a downloadable "free to play" version that doesn't come with a 7-day expiration date, but has a Level 20 cap. So, you know, you can play WoW free forever, so long as none of your toons want to rise above 20. Which would at least be fine for rp, only, to echo an analogy yesterday, trying to rp in WoW is about the same as trying to use a Hula Hoop as a particle accelerator. Anyway, I think MMORPGs are finally learning from watching pushers.

Last night, I read Book 2 of The Stuff of Legend. This is, by far, the best new comic I've read in many years. Also, I read "The Dingus" by Gregory Frost, from Ellen Datlow's Supernatural Noir.

Today, I will proofread and wait...

3000 and Counting,
Aunt Beast
greygirlbeast: (Default)
At the moment, I'm just a tiny bit more disgusted with humanity than usual. Well, generalizations are never fair, but there you go. And a new word is needed, what with humanity's default setting seeming to be rather inhumane.

More "good" people than "bad" people?

Really?

You think?

Oh, yeah. Right. Easter fucking Sunday.

Were you in church this morning, Vernon Hackett?

---

Yesterday, I wrote 1,181 words, and finished "Fake Plastic Trees," and today I'll send it to the book's editor.

It's warm today. I should be Outside.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Diana Wynne Jones has died. She was born on August 16th, 1934.

"Pretending was like that. Things seemed to make themselves up, once you got going."
Fire and Hemlock (1985)

---

Just read an article online about the increase in the US Hispanic population, now the second largest ethnic group in the nation (50+ million, accounting for 16.3 percent of the U.S. population of 308,745,538). And then I made the mistake of glancing at the readers' comments, which, in the main, consisted of racial slurs and cries of alarm about impending white extinction. My favorite, some idiot blaming abortion and gay rights for the "fall of the white man." What do you say to shit like that?

---

Spooky and I thank everyone who helped to make our first Kickstarter project an enormous success. When the donation period ended last night, we had 212% of our funding. So, The Tale of the Ravens will happen, and Goat Girl Press is born. Thank you all.

---

Yesterday, I wrote 1,125 words on "Random Thoughts Before a Fatal Crash." It's a strange start to a strange story. It may not even be a story, precisely. But then, the title says that.

There was also a lot of non-writing writing busyness. And I signed contracts. And stuff.

I'm loving Markus Zusak's The Book Thief.

And I'm tired and dreamsick, and just want warm weather and the sea.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
A wonderful hard rain yesterday, wonderful even though I had to go Out into it. Much of the snow has been melted and washed away.

Comments would be good today. I know it's Saturday, but it feels like Sunday, and Sundays suck.

Well, the medical appointment yesterday wasn't nearly as bad as expected. I have a new doctor, and it's an infinitely better match than the last. So, no more Evil Nasty Clinic filled with rude homophobic assholes who get freaked out by pentagrams. Also, new doctor has an aquarium built into the waiting room wall, which scores all sorts of points with me.

After we got home yesterday, Spooky saw a raven perched on the house across the street. They don't usually range this far south, but this winter they're turning up in Rhode Island. Normally, we only get crows and fish crows. Sadly, I didn't see it. We're both getting somewhat serious about birding, and I take that as a sign of our advancing years. Then again, bird watching ain't nothing but dinosaur watching misspelled.

I got a copy of [livejournal.com profile] kaz_mahoney's (Karen Mahoney) first novel, The Iron Witch, in the mail. Thank you, Kaz! And congratulations.

Late in the day, we proofed "By Turns" for To Worlds and In Between, so some work was done.

I loaded a lot of Dead Can Dance onto the iPod yesterday.

I've made an interesting decision as regards The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. It occurred to me, yesterday, that I read novels about heterosexual characters, and the word heterosexual, or even straight, never appears, unless it's used to set the characters apart from queers. So. I'm removing every instance of the word lesbian from The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Sure, there's lesbian relationships, lesbo sex, a hot tranny dyke, a sapphic siren/wolf girl, and so forth. But nowhere in the book will I actually use the word lesbian. Because I wouldn't use het, probably not even once, were Imp straight. And I figure, not only is it the right thing to do, but it will somehow annoy the bigots even more.

---

How frakkin' good is Rift? So damn good that Spooky and I are currently trading her laptop back and forth so that we can both play, that's how good. So far, no disappointments. Quite exactly the opposite. Telara grows more amazing the more I see. Right now, I'm in love with the creature design. Yesterday, Selwyn, my Kelari mage, made Level 12. Her minion is a human skeleton named Jude. Spooky's Kelari cleric, Miisya, made Level 10. She'll catch up today. Oh, and players cooperate, and come to the rescue of others, and stuff like that. Who'd have thought it? Yes, there are a few jerks. But infinitely (well, not literally) less than in WoW, and they're easy to ignore, especially if, like me, you keep general chat off.

In WoW, I'm still grinding away in Outland, trying to get Loremaster with Shaharrazad before I exit stage left. But it's starting to look as if that may never happen. Loremaster, I mean. There are just too many broken, forgotten quests out there. And I'll need every one of them to make the title. On the upside, WoW is a hell of a lot more fun playing in regions where there are absolutely no other players. By the way, third worst WoW quest ever is to be found in Shadowmoon Valley: "I was a lot of things..."

---

Vince is currently working on the illustration for Sirenia Digest #63, and it'll go out to subscribers ASAP. What? You're not a subscriber??? Fix that now! The platypus compels you with his venomous spurs.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
I've not left the house in eight days. Presently, it's sunny and 23˚F, though it feels like 10˚F with windchill. Things I only know because of the internet. The last few days, the sun and rain have made a small dent in the mountain of snow. The streets of Providence have begun their annual disintegration, as potholes open up all over. Not that it matters to someone who seems never to leave the house.

I'm feeling much, much better. This has been an odd cold, for Spooky and I both. I've dubbed it the "Long Island Express." Fast and hard. It was sort of like a week and a half of sick, all in three days. Still, I'd rather it be that way, than lower-grade misery for ten days.

I suppose yesterday was a half a day off. I didn't actively write, but I did work. Email, and looked over copy editor's marks on "Tidal Forces" (soon to appear in Johnathan Strahan's Eclipse Four). I lay in bed while Spooky read back over all of the seventh chapter of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir and made line edits. I see now that the seventh chapter is done, and I'll begin 8 today. And I see that this novel may only have nine chapters, so...the ending is nearing sooner than expected. Which feels very, very strange, considering I actually only was finally able to begin it in earnest in November (after, I think, three false starts over the preceding eight months).

---

Thanks for all the potential "if I were" questions posted yesterday as comments. There were some excellent ones, and all have been cut an pasted into a file I keep for such things. But, as it happens, I thought of a very good question last night, which I'll probably post tomorrow. I think it's just the right balance of disturbing and erotic.

---

The thing I was going to get into yesterday and didn't, another highly questionable Amazon.com "review" and the issue of Sarah Crowe's sexuality. I quote:

Over all, I liked the book. I did get a bit irritated with the author constantly telling the reader that Sarah is a lesbian.

Now, I should note up front that the reader did, indeed, like the book, and she gave it four out of five stars. And, originally, I wasn't going to carp about this. But it's been eating at me. I will try to be succinct, because it's actually a very simple problem. To begin with, "the author" wasn't "constantly telling the reader that Sarah is a lesbian." It was Sarah who did the talking. The interauthor whose journal makes up most of The Red Tree. There are plenty who would say that's an absurd distinction, but I disagree. However, that's not the meat of the problem here.

To put it as simply as possible, most gays and lesbians spend a lot more time thinking of themselves as gays and lesbians than most heterosexual men and women spend thinking about the fact of their heterosexuality. This is simply true, and it follows from the repression and discrimination and hatred visited upon queers. When you aren't "the norm," when, all your life, the validity of your desires and loves has been condemned and questioned and, at times, attempts have been made to beat it out of you, it changes how you see yourself. It's unfortunate, but it's true. Maybe someday a time will come when this isn't true, and no one will give a second thought to being a lesbian. But, for now, we live in a society that rarely misses an opportunity to remind us how we deviate from a heterocentric expectation. We spend a lot more time thinking of our sexual identity (which is not the same as thinking about sex) than do straight men and women, because it has become a label. A tag with which to distinguish us from everyone who isn't a lesbian. And if you're straight, and you still don't get this after hearing an explanation, I'm sorry, but you're just not trying. Sarah grew up in the Deep South, one of those parts of the country where it's very hard to be queer, and has, no doubt, spent much of her life taking crap, and yes, she'd quite frequently think of herself as a lesbian. Ergo, she'd write about it. The Red Tree is her book, her voice, her story.

I grow weary of the "I have nothing against lesbians, but why do I have to read about them?" crowd. It's hard not to see this as closeted or thinly-veiled homophobia. Hets are not entitled to live in ignorance of lesbianism, any more than lesbians are entitled to live in ignorance of heterosexuality. This is the world you made, now butch up and live with it.

---

The rest of yesterday. Dinner was the third day of quadrupedal chicken stew. Because I was too bored to stay in bed, and too sick to do much of anything else, there was a lot of WoW. We're finishing up the Twilight Highlands with Shah and Suraa, which means finishing up the meat of the Cataclysm expansion. The Twilight Highlands has been, by far, the best of the expansion. The scene where Alexstrasza attempts to destroy Deathwing was very nicely done. Most of the Twilight Highlands quest chains are good. While Uldum is pretty to look at, it shoots itself in the foot with all the "Harrison Jones" silliness. At least the Twilight Highlands quests mostly take themselves seriously.

Mostly. But...I would be lying if I tried to pretend that my love affair with WoW isn't coming to an end. Blizzard continues to dumb down the game (and it wasn't exactly a bright child to begin with). And they continue to inexplicably whittle away at warlock abilities (and, I assume, abilities for other classes). Yesterday's big patch took away the "drain mana" spell, which I rely on quite a bit in PvE. It's beginning to look like I'll be able to get a laptop this spring, exclusively for gaming, and I suspect that when I do I'll be dropping WoW for LoTRO and Rift (Spooky's doing the Rift Beta, and it's an amazing game). I need a lot less funny and far more coherent, consistent storylines. I need a world that isn't afraid to take itself seriously, and game designers who are a little more considerate of players. Blizzard, you've lost me.

And now...I make the doughtnuts. Comments!
greygirlbeast: (white)
Yesterday, I wrote 3,243 words on Chapter 7 of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. Which makes yesterday my best day ever in terms of word count, with at least three hundred words to spare. I truly didn't think I'd be able to pull it off, but I did, and in only five hours. I suspect I may have been channeling [livejournal.com profile] matociquala. At any rate, it's nothing I wish to do again any time soon. Considering that my daily average the last few years has been about 1,100 words, I've written almost five days worth of novel in the last two days.

And I'm sick as a sick fucking dog. And I'm not working today. Well, I'm not writing. I may lie in bed and manage some proofreading by having Spooky read to me. But that's different. I actually suck at doing nothing. I've never learned the trick. Which makes being ill difficult. My mind rages on, even when the body would be still. It has to have something upon which to gnaw.

I've not left the house since last Monday evening, the 31st, so I've not been out for seven days. I was doing much better for a while, keeping to my resolution never to stay in for more than four consecutive days. But the novel's been coming so fast, and the weather's been so horrid, the days slip by without my even realizing it.

There's something substantive I want to write, regarding an Amazon "reviewer's" complaint that, in The Red Tree, I harp on Sarah's being a lesbian, and how the complaint reveals just how poorly many straight people understand what it's like to be queer, and how ignorance can quickly become prejudice. But I'm not up to it now. Tomorrow I might be.

Anyway, I will be checking the blog today, so comment if you'd like. Ah, here's something. A number of people have mentioned to me how much they've enjoyed the "Alone" and "CreatureMe" pieces in Sirenia Digest nos. 61 and 62, respectively. The answers that made up those two articles were in response to questions I asked in the blog two years back. So...here's a challenge. Come up with a new question of the same sort. Something as good as "If I were a summonable monster..." and "What if you had me alone..." Don't worry, you couldn't shock me if you tried. But feel free to try, all the same.

Okay. Gotta go horizontal for a few minutes.
greygirlbeast: (Walter1)
There's a glacier in the driveway.

Yesterday, I did 1,517 words on Chapter 5. As I said a few days ago on Twitter, I'm at least half serious about an author's note at the beginning, something like, Warning: This books contains lesbians and transsexuals, and they have teh sex— with each other —and they're treated like real people, not freaks, and there are no straight characters, just so the homophobic and transphobic whiners out there might be dissuaded from buying it and so whine a little less.

Spooky and I have decided to delay announcement of the secret project until tomorrow. There are still a few details to which she needs to attend. Which is fine, as more people read the blog on Mondays than on Sundays.

Last night, we got new Fringe, an excellent episode with Christopher Lloyd. And then we watched Po-Chih Leong's The Wisdom of Crocodiles (1998; also, unfortunately, known as Immortality). How I managed to overlook this film for thirteen years is beyond me. It only came to my attention a couple of days ago, thanks to a recommendation from [livejournal.com profile] tsarina. I liked it quite a lot. Jude Law in a fairly artful and understated British vampire film. Also, it includes the phrase "a species of one," so now I can't claim to be the first to have used it.

On WoW last night, I saw a Draenei girl in a guild named "Awesome Lolly Muffin Men." Very likely the most peculiar guild name I've ever seen. I thought it must be a reference to something pop cultural, but, if so, Google isn't being helpful.

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks.

And now, I'll leave you with a photo from last night, me and Hubero snuggling to stay warm (foreshortening renders my arm oddly stout):

22 January 2011 )
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Tomorrow is the Twelfth Annual International Transgender Day of Remembrance. I don't think I need to explain what this is, or why it means a lot to me, personally. The world remains fucked up, and people are ignorant and hateful, and many transgender people are harassed, murdered, and commit suicide because of this ignorance and hatred. I will live, grow old, and die, and the world will still be fucked up. But you say what you can, and do what you can, and you keep on moving.

Here in Providence, a Transgender Day of Remembrance event will be held at 6:00 pm. Participants will gather at Youth Pride, Inc., 171 Chestnut Street and will walk in a candlelight procession to the Beneficent Congregational Church at 300 Weybosset St. for the memorial ceremony. At the conclusion of the ceremony, participants will walk by candlelight back to Youth Pride, Inc.

And on that note, I leave you with Hal Duncan, one Scottish sodomite who doesn't mince his fucking words.

greygirlbeast: (death&themaiden)
No, The Red Tree didn't win the World Fantasy Award, but that in no way diminishes my pride and my joy at having been nominated. And my congratulations to all the winners. And my thanks to Peter, who would have accepted for me, had I won.

Here is it, Día de los Muertos*, and me without calaveras de azucar. Truthfully, I've never had a sugar skull, but would love to someday.

Sirenia Digest #59 should be going out the subscribers this evening. There were a few problems with the first PDF that are being corrected, and we'll get it out to you as soon as everything is just so. Yesterday was spent on the issue's layout. Today, I have to go back to actually writing, and, truthfully, it's a sort of relief.

---

I really dislike getting angry first thing in the goddamn morning. Or, well, early afternoon. For that reason, I try to avoid reader comments about my books on Amazon.com. This morning, I slipped up, and found this, posted anonymously two days ago by "R.M.B." (I've not bothered correcting R.M.B.'s misspellings):

I was very intrigued with the reviews of this book. It sounded great and I couldn't wait to read it. I was very dissappointed and quit after about five chapters. As is mentioned by other reviewers, the main character is very foul-mouthed and difficult to like. Also, and forgive me if this is a spoiler, in all the reviews and the synopsis I saw on this book nowhere is it mentioned that there is a very heavy gay/lesbian story-line. It's certainly not the first (nor I'm sure the last) book I've read that contains this element, but as that is not my taste and certainly not what I thougt I was getting here, I felt like that little detail was hidden. Frankly I feel a little mislead and wish I could get my money back. I can overlook some of these issues in some books, but this one was'nt one of them.

So, yeah, here's some angrifying shit (thank you for that word, Kristin Hersh). And suddenly I'm having flashbacks to that last (and horrible) Readercon 21 panel this past July, during which I had to listen to people complain that books ought to come with warning labels. Is it wrong for writers to respond to critics? No, not in the least, and I don't know who thought up that tiresome old chestnut. Regardless, I want to be clear that what I am responding to here is not the fact that the reader disliked the novel, as a novel, but to the reader's homophobia and sense of entitlement.

To start with, had she or he actually read "reviews of this book," he or she would have known that Sarah and Constance were lesbians. Few reviews fail to mention Sarah's sexuality, or the fact that she becomes involved with Constance. Ergo, the "reviewer" is either lying and didn't read reviews, or means cover blurbs when he or she says "reviews." Secondly, it is no one's responsibility— not mine and not my editor's and not my publisher's and not Amazon.com's —to inform anyone "that there is a very heavy gay/lesbian story-line." Does R.M.B. think books should notify their readers when there are very heavy straight plots? Of course not, because, remember, heterosexuality is normal and to be expected. It's a given that straight characters will suit the "tastes" of most readers, so this sort of warning would be silly. Obviously. So, never mind the disgust that betrays this reader's homophobia, there's the entitlement issue, that she or he has a right to be informed of queer characters, so such characters can be safely avoided. Same old shit, different goddamn day.

Is this worth me getting upset over? Yes. Maybe it wouldn't be, if gay men and women were accorded the same legal rights as straight men and women. But we are not. We are targeted as deviant. We are shat upon. We are relegated. We are shunned. We are threatened and murdered for loving those we love, and, ironically, told we cannot die in war. We are told we are sick and need to be cured. Even were all this not true, I would find the expectation that a book about us ought to come with a warning utterly abhorrent. So, yes. Sarah Crowe is a lesbian, and she's also "foul-mouthed," and if that gripes your ass, don't read my goddamned novel. If your sensibilities are so easily assaulted, do some research before you buy a book. Don't publicly whine after the fact, because the world can't be bothered to hold your little hand and cover your little eyes and keep you safe from all you find distasteful. And if you are going to publicly speak your opinion about a book, criticize the actual book, instead of using it as a platform for your loathing of queers. Want to review a book? Then review the fucking book, asshole.

There were other things I was going to write about in this entry, but I'm too angry. The whole goddamn world is falling into ruin, and people have time to be offended at queers. This shit has to stop somewhere. To quote Malcolm Reynolds, my favorite space cowboy, "So here is us, on the raggedy edge. Don't push me, and I won't push you."

* My mistake. Día de los Muertos is November 2nd. Surely, I knew that.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
There's cold air on the way, but this early afternoon it's 74F and sunny, and my office window is open.

The comments from yesterday's post were a little overwhelming, and I didn't reply to all the ones I ought to have replied to, I know. The kind words are appreciated, but I was left feeling as though I were fishing for compliments...or something. Which isn't at all what I was doing. Anyway, whatever. Thank you. I think my favorite comment came from [livejournal.com profile] catconley, who asked, "Does the tweeter also think that Stephen Hawking is a computer?" Brava.

Seeing there was no hope of working yesterday, I left the House, and we went to What Cheer (Wayland Square) and the Curious Mermaid (Wickenden Street), looking for the things that will be making up the Dancy box. The things we aren't making. Little religious tchotchkes, a black plastic dog, an old postcard. This started out as just something extra to offer with a lettered copy of Alabaster (letter X). But now it's grown into a piece of art in its own right. Spooky's cousin Ben is sending us the perfect cigar box from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. It was a warm, drizzly day Outside, and I spent most of it sorting through postcards from the forties and fifties and sixties.

Jada sent us voodoo dolls for Halloween.

---

Mixed feelings about last night's episode of Glee. On the one hand, it was neat. The Rocky Horror Picture Show was a huge part of my life long ago. Somewhere there are photos of me as Magenta. Oh, here they are (thank you Spooky):




"The Time Warp"



"Touch-a Touch-a Touch-a Touch Me"



Anyway, I'm perplexed at the word "transsexual" having been replaced with "sensational." And they somehow managed to do the whole thing without cross-dressing, which is sort of like doing Doctor Zhivago without Russians. Maybe I'm not perplexed. Maybe I'm only disappointed. Oh, and saw the new Caprica, but I did so immediately after getting the news that "SyFy" has canceled the show, and that the final five episodes won't air until early 2011. May I call this SyFyail? The show was too smart, and too off-beat, and the money can be better spent making shitty movies and reality shows, I'm sure. Caprica will go down after only a single season.

---

Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Thanks.

Sometimes, my heart's just not in an entry. Like now.
greygirlbeast: (Eli1)
Yesterday was warm, and the night before ferociously windy. Night before last, I sat at my desk with the window open, and the wind blowing the world around Outside. There was sun yesterday, though it was still chilly in the shadows. Today, it's still warm, 70F at the moment, still warm, but cloudy. There must be something wrong with the commas in that last sentence. Anyway, I left the House yesterday, but the junk shop we wanted to scour is closed on Tuesday, and we didn't know. Still, it got me Outside. Last night, I was so tired I slept almost nine hours.

Back home, I all but finished the newest painting, Study #2 for Yellow. I'm much happier with it than I was with Study #1 for Yellow. I tweeted yesterday, "I am painting a convulsion." This morning, looking at the painting, I see it was an accurate description.

---

Back to the subject of my doing podcasts, and my discomfort with my voice, and how it follows from being transgendered. Back to being very weary of how so much of the world perceives gender. Back to vocal dysphoria (from Greek δύσφορος [dysphoros], from δυσ-, difficult, and φέρειν, to bear). Day before yesterday, the following was tweeted:

Um...Is Caitlin R. Kiernan a tranny, or just a really deep voiced woman? :/

Yeah, the witty emoticon was part of the post. A few minutes later, there was a second tweet, by the same person:

I'm STILL not sure if Caitlin R. Kiernan was born as a woman with a deep voice, or what. Apparently she's/he's an expert on H.P. Lovecraft.

To which I replied:

What the hell's the difference? Does gender, or birth gender, make one a better scholar or author?

I received this reply (and it's clear that the person asking these question didn't know I was, well, me, the person about whom he seemed so intensely curious...and yes, it's a he...I checked, because clearly gender is germane to all such discussions):

No, not at all! It's just hard for me to react to something my brain can't categorize. It's not a problem with her.

So...he cannot react (which he apparently must do) to something I've said unless he's capable of pegging my gender. Or sex. Or both. And, of course, it's more than that. My birth sex must be pegged, so that he can categorize, then react. A few minutes later, he tweeted:

@greygirlbeast For the record I have no problem with anyone's sexuality--it's just a first reaction to something like that to say 'Huh?".

To say "Huh?" Note, he doesn't say, "it's my reaction," but implies the reaction is universal (and it may well be). Anyway, I suppose I should be relieved. After all the hateful comments people made at YouTube when Frank Woodward posted an outtake from my interview for Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown (which I almost didn't do, because I hate my voice), this is kid stuff. The "tweeter," was, by the way, an actual kid. This, of course, excuses nothing.

But it should serve as an illustration to those who simply seem unable to grasp the source of my discomfort. Not because there's actually anything wrong with women having deeper voices, or with being a transsexual. But because it wears me out. It exhausts me. Seeing this shit after all these years. My gender will always be a reason for many people to dismiss me out of hand. Or to hate me. Or to spew transphobic and homophobic vitriol. Or whatever. I know that. I accepted that ages ago. But it still wears me out. I always expect it, and yet it comes when I least expect it. It almost always blindsides me.

That someone must know my gender before he can "react" to my comments. And it hardly matters that there are better, smarter, more tolerant people in the world. It matters not one whit. Sometimes, I get tired of fighting the good fight. I've been fighting it my whole life. But, here I am still fighting, because I don't know how to stop.

I'm talking in circles. I just wanted to put this out there, as a case in point. This is why I dislike my voice, and this is why I am hesitant to do podcasts, or live interviews, or cons, or public readings. I'd like to move through the world being treated no differently than other women, those women who happen to be cisgendered. The lucky women who've never had anyone doubt their identity.

And if I've revealed anything here you didn't already know, well...either you haven't been paying attention, or you're too good and intelligent a person to give a shit. Or both. However, should it make you think less of me, in any way, you can go fuck yourself with a rusty corkscrew. I'll even help, if you can't figure out how that works.
greygirlbeast: (Default)
Still overcast, but warmer today. Oh, wait. I see a glimmer of sunlight.

Yesterday, I wrote 847 words and found THE END of "At the Reef." I don't know why I've been referring to it as "On the Reef," because that's not the title.

Last night, we were planning to go to AS220 to see Brown Bird play (with three other bands), but after the writing, and a bath, and dinner, I discovered I was too tired to get dressed, much less leave the House. It pissed me off. But I can't be surprised. I just wrote two short stories (or vignettes, I'm not sure) in seven days. Not to mention the usual background writerly work. So, anyway, I wound up in bed, too exhausted to do anything but read and moan about being so old and tired. Oh, and then I slept like crap last night.

At least we can still see Brown Bird in November, when they open for Raspuntina's upcoming Providence show. Maybe I won't be exhausted that night. I am truly in love with Brown Bird. I want to marry this band and have their children.

---

What did I read? Three more stories from [livejournal.com profile] ellen_datlow and [livejournal.com profile] nihilistic_kid's Haunted Legends: Carrie Laben's "Face Like a Monkey," Gary A. Braunbeck's "Return to Mariabronn," and John Mantooth's "Shoebox Train Wreck." There is a truly sublime line from the latter. "The dead really don't haunt the living. The living haunt the dead." One of those lines I wish I'd written. But I didn't. I can only admire the skill of the author who did.

This anthology's getting some weird reviews, people complaining because, they say, it purports to be a book of ghost stories, but some of the stories aren't ghost stories. Now, to begin with, Haunted Legends doesn't claim to be exclusively a collection of ghost stories (sensu stricto). The theme of the book is actually urban legends. At the very top of the cover is printed "Local legends and ghost stories..." Note that "local legends" comes first. That said, many of the stories actually are ghost stories, more than I would have expected from an anthology for which the authors were asked to write stories based on urban legends, and not specifically ghost stories. Book reviewers who can't bother to read the books they review need to stop reviewing books.

---

Today I wish I could stay in bed. But I need to address the copyeditors queries for "The Collier's Venus (1893)," which will soon appear in [livejournal.com profile] ellen_datlow's Naked City anthology. And answer email. And read over and correct "And the Cloud That Took the Form" and "At the Reef." So, yeah. Work. The platypus is a harsh mistress.

Congratulations to William Lindblad of Plano, Texas, who won both my items in the KGB readings benefit auction.

As I write this, the podcast poll stands at 97.3% in favor (143 votes) and 2.7% (4 votes) against. The four who voted against did an admirable job of explaining why they voted against my doing podcasts. Most likely, I'll do one at some point in the next few weeks and see how it goes. And then figure out if I'll make a habit of podcasts.

---

Harlan Ellison is selling his first typewriter, a beautiful old Remington. As I said on Facebook yesterday, Harlan has done me many kindnesses and was a tremendous influence on my own work. I consider this typewriter invaluable, but would happily pay five times the $5,000 it has been insured for, if only I had that sort of money. If only I were a wealthy woman. I can only hope it goes to a museum or collector who appreciates its value and will care for it.

---

Last night Spooky pontificated on the relative merits of various brands of pumpkin ale. Me, I don't drink the stuff, but she loves it. She decalres Dogfish Head the best, and Wolaver's the second best, but isn't impressed with Smuttynose (despite the cute seal on the bottle). I think she's indifferent towards Saranac. She says, "It's weak."

A quote now from yesterday's entry: Please have a look at the current eBay auctions, as nothing has changed since yesterday. That is, the IRS hasn't decided we don't have to pay taxes, after all. That is, they haven't sent back the check Spooky wrote. Speaking of Spooky, I reiterate, all those cool Halloween thingumies in her Dreaming Squid Dollworks and Sundries Etsy shop will be taken down come November 1st.

Last of all (until the next entry), though I love WoW, I'm sickened by the kids (at least, I hope they're kids) who spew "faggot" and "queer" and "gay" and "homo" over the various chat channels, employing these words as though they are the worst imaginable insults. They swamp the chat channels with this shit. It's almost enough the make me quit the game. I've disabled almost all the chat channels, and I mute the individuals. But still. Are gamers today, as a group, really this homophobic?
greygirlbeast: (Walter1)
Yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] anaisembraced reminded me of a quote from one of Anaïs Nin's published diaries (1931-1934). It manages to say much more eloquently what I was trying to say yesterday about my need for a public persona:

"There were always in me, two women at least, one woman desperate and bewildered, who felt she was drowning and another who would leap into a scene, as upon a stage, conceal her true emotions because they were weaknesses, helplessness, despair, and present to the world only a smile, an eagerness, curiosity, enthusiasm, interest."

---

Yesterday was spent, work-wise, beginning the layout of Sirenia Digest #58. I have to set that aside today for the aforementioned Weird Tales interview, which I'm doing after all. Part of me is so done with giving interviews. Another part of me recognizes it's always going to be something I have to do.

If you want truly secure online passwords, create your own language. It works wonders.

The weather has turned warm again.

People have started asking me questions about the H. P. Lovcecraft Film Festival. What I will and won't be doing, my schedule, how many books will I sign, when's my reading, what will I be reading from, how long will I be in Oregon, am I going to Powell's, and so forth. I'm going to post my schedule for the festival and CthulhuCon here in the next day or so.

As for signing, I'm not going to have an actual signing session scheduled, I don't think, so you might want to plan on bringing stuff you want signed to my reading, or catching me before or after a panel, something like that. But not if I'm eating, or something like that. I'll sign as many books as you want signed. No limit. I'll personalize them. I won't write stupid shit like, "To my best friend" or "For a kindred spirit" or poetry or anything like that. I won't inscribe my books with passages from my books. I bring these things up because from time to time they've been an issue in my eBay sales. I'll sign books, and I'll sign books to you or to whomever you want them signed to, but that's about it. Sometimes, if the mood strikes me, I throw in a monster doodle, but the mood rarely strikes me.

Also, I am declaring this con "Be Nice to Spooky Weekend." Which means, well, be nice to Spooky, because if she weren't coming along, I wouldn't be able to be there. Please feel free to bring her doughnuts from Voodoo Donuts (I think she's especially interested in the bacon-maple bars, voodoo dolls, and apple fritters). Or a vial of Escential's "oak moss." These things will make her smile.

---

So far, I've completely avoided seeing clips and trailers from Matt Reeves Let Me In, which is a remake of Tomas Alfredson's superb and perfect Låt den rätte komma in (both based on John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel, Låt den rätte komma in). I hate the things that Reeves has said, with a straight face, about making the story more accessible for Americans. I hate that he's gutting the novel and original film's gender issues by simply making Eli a genetic female. How can that not come across as pandering to homophobic and transphobic filmgoers? And this is all confusing, because I very much loved Reeves' Cloverfield, and want to see more from him. I'm not especially fond of American remakes of foreign language films, but I also don't hate them on principle, as some seem to do. Usually, I'll give them a chance. But this time, I don't see how I can.

Oh, and I'm very pleased to see that [livejournal.com profile] docbrite is finally reading House of Leaves.

---

Some smart, moving, exquisite rp in Insilico last night. Lately, my rp has involved very few people, which I have found, through trail and error, to be the best approach. Two people is ideal. Four is usually my limit for a scene. More than that, there's too much chaos. This story began back in January and February, with a long hiatus from April into July. At this point, it's mostly the story of two people, one of whom happens to be an android. It's like the middle of a good sf novel, one for which I know I'll never get to read the beginning or ending (which makes it rather like a dream). It demonstrates the marvel that Second Life can be, but almost never manages to be. Anyway, my thanks to Fifth and Molly.

Earlier, Spooky and I watched the latest Project Runway (good riddance, Ivy) and the first episode of Season Three of Fringe, which I though was an especially strong episode.

And now, there's the interview (though internet porn sounds like more fun)....
greygirlbeast: (The Red Tree)
Yesterday, I killed a loaf of bread. Such was my anger, and such was the nature of the day. A shitty, shitty day, but the loaf of bread had done nothing. It was a little stale, sure, but aren't we all? Spooky's buried all evidence in the trash.

Turns out, on July 10th, some cisgendered, homophobic snot at Readercon was twatting rude little missives about my person (that's only one thing that led to yesterday being a shitty day). Hashtag #readercon. You can probably find him, if you try. He consistently misspelled my name as "Kaitlin." I'm still debating whether or not to unleash the flying monkeys upon his sorry ass. Whether or not to call him out. A loaf of bread has already died for his sins. Oh, and he also complained about Chip Delany reading "raunchy gay PORN." Ignorance and hatred and fear are the roots of all evil, if there actually is evil in the world. Blessed are the narrow-minded shit weasels.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,086 words on a new vignette. An erotic vignette that begins with a discourse on 4th-dimensional geometry, tesseracts, orthogonality, three-dimensional shadows, and so forth. Truly, I write smut for nerds. Right now, the piece is called "Vicaria Draconis" (thank you, [livejournal.com profile] sovay). And I could finish it today, I suspect, only it's so bloody hot in the house, and I'm still a bit too angry to make the doughnuts.

We hit a fairly serious last-minute snag yesterday, as regards the book trailer, and right now, we're scrambling to sort it all out.

Also, I'm pulling out whatever stops I can pull for promotion. We're going to have Red Tree fliers up on the website soon (they were out at Readercon), that can be printed from your computer and distributed wherever seems appropriate. We're talking posse, street team, etc. I've also begun a contest. Send me tree photos, any tree, anywhere, and my favorite gets a free, signed copy of the novel. Email photos to greygirlbeast(at)gmail(dot)com, naturally. Now, I would much prefer you take these photos yourself, and not snurch them off the interwebs, please. They may be posted on the website, and I'd prefer not to violate someone else's copyright. We're also talking stickers, because any good posse needs to be able to deface public property and restroom stalls and so forth.

And there's the ongoing auctions.

I don't think I can sit here, baking in the heat all day. It's ten degrees (F) cooler outside than inside.

I want to say, "Read the Tree," but Danielewski beat me to that one. This posse needs it own slogan. "Feed the Tree"? Yeah, I know it's from a Belly song, but so was Low Red Moon
greygirlbeast: (white2)
Here in Providence, summer is getting off to a cool start. A high of only 72F forecast for today (61F at the moment), and the warmest we expect to see over the next ten days is 77F, with lots of days only in the 60s. Of course, summer doesn't officially arrive for another two weeks.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,018 words on "The Alchemist's Daughter" (another, better title has yet to occur to me). It's a strange story. And maintaining its voice is a daunting endeavor. But, as I've said before, one of the purposes of Sirenia Digest is to allow me to experiment, and this certainly is an experiment. I was writing until sometime after 6 p.m. yesterday. Every single sentence of this one is requiring me to take so much care.

Pursuant to these thoughts on the difficulties I'm having writing "The Alchemist's Daughter," on this day in 2007 I wrote (the thing about virtual Nebari boobs, that's a reference to my old SL dancing gig):

"One thing I have resisted, as an author, is (as they say in publishing) being 'branded.' There are authors upon whom you may rely to always deliver the sort of story you expect from them, presented the way you expect them to present stories, in voices that have become familiar. And this is what I will never be, I suspect. Just as I must continue to find the meaning and purpose in the stories I am to write (if I am to write them), I must also continue to push myself. I cannot ever become comfortable, because that's when art ceases to be art and becomes something else. Back to what I said yesterday about having written through so much anger and sorrow in Tales of Pain and Wonder and in the early novels (The Five of Cups through Low Red Moon, and The Dreaming) — I do not manufacture emotions, but project them from within myself. This is the only way I know to make them genuine. And if they are other than genuine, well, I'm better off being a virtual stripper in a virtual strip club, showing my virtual Nebari boobs for virtual tips. But you are correct in these observations. Murder of Angels was a bridge. I know I made a conscious effort to move away from what I had been doing, and I began looking to other sorts of fantasy and sf as my canvas and my paints. Some stories will feel rawer than others. I'm a stranger here myself."

I'm encouraged when I look back through the years and see that maybe I'm actually making some sort of progress, and that I'm holding true to the course I plotted for myself (though detours are inevitable).

Anyway, please have a look at the current eBay auctions, to help offset the expense of attending ReaderCon this year. I'll also point you in the direction of Spooky's Dreaming Squid Dollworks shop on Etsy. She says a new beastie will be appearing there within the hour.

As Michael Rowe reports in The Huffington Post, the KRXQ "shock jocks" who recently berated transgender children as "freaks" and advocated violence against them, are being called to task for their hateful tirade. Most importantly, their actions have cost the station a number of high-profile sponsors. I quote: "As of this writing, at least ten national companies have withdrawn, cancelled, or decided not to renew their advertising contracts with KRXQ. They include Chipotle restaurants, the Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, SONIC, Verizon, the Carl's Jr. restaurant chain, Wells Fargo, Nissan, AT&T, and McDonalds. Citing the depravity of the content, spokespeople for the various companies were united in their disgust with KRXQ and Rob, Arnie, & Dawn in the Morning." You can read the rest of Micheal's update here, in which we learn that two of the DJs in question have a long history of hateful and obscene speech towards children and women. For my part, I have no interest in hearing apologies from these people, nor from their employer. This isn't the sort of thing you can readily apologize for.

And now, it's time to make the doughnuts....
greygirlbeast: (chi3)
The only thing keeping me in this chair, at this desk, today is knowledge that clouds and rain are heading towards Providence from the west, and will be here shortly. Otherwise, Spooky and I would be on our way to Beavertail.

But there will be clouds, and there will be rain, and so I'll sit here and wrestle with the dreamsickness.

No actual writing yesterday. Lots and lots of reading on alchemy and dragons, looking for the way into "The Alchemist's Daughter" (a title I'm growing increasingly unhappy with). Today, I need the words to come.

And, by the way, as of night before last, we've been in Providence for a whole year now. Which just seems impossible. But a good sort of impossible.

Probably the best thing about yesterday was the arrival of a 1941 Royal typewriter we found on Etsy. It's the same make and model as the one that Sarah Crowe discovers in the basement of the old house on Barbs Hill Road, the one Charles Harvey was writing on, the one that Sarah uses to write The Red Tree. It's one of the few props we needed to acquire to shoot the promotional "trailer" this summer, and Spooky was lucky enough to find someone over on the east side of Providence with one for sale cheap, even though it's in fantastic condition. This is, by the way, the same make and model of typewriter that I grew up writing on, and that I was still using as recently as 1985. It weighs a marvelous 30+ pounds. Here are a couple of photos:





By the way, I'm trying to think of a contest wherein the prize would be one of the ARCs of The Red Tree. So far, the best idea has been a contest to create banner ads, and that's certainly something I need, but I'm still thinking. I might come up with something even better. The book will be released on August 4th, in case you're wondering.

Last night, Spooky read to me from Andrea Barrett's The Voyage of the Narwhal, and we watched Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy II: The Golden Army again. Gods, I adore this film, and not only for its beautiful and terrifying vision of Faerie (though that would be sufficient). And then we played some WoW. I'm almost halfway to Lvl 70, which is as high as I'll go for a while. We're planning on playing through the rest of "The Burning Crusade" expansion, and going back and doing a lot of the dungeons on Azeroth we were unable to do when we should have, before moving along to "Wrath of the Lich King." Northrend and the death knights can wait. I got to bed at 2:30 a.m., a vast improvement over the last few nights.

This is the last thing I read before bed last night, news of a Sacramento, CA morning talk-radio show's attack against transgender children that went so far as to advocate physical violence against them. It's unspeakably sick, the things these people were allowed to broadcast, and that their listeners are receptive, but then it's the same sick, hateful shit I've had to live through. The more I see...well...never mind. I've seen much too much in forty-five years, and it's left me with absolutely no tolerance for this sort of ignorant, inexcusable intolerance. GLAAD is watching these assholes now, and I'll be following the story.

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Caitlín R. Kiernan

February 2012

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